Is here anyone who reads literature in Chinese? No matter whether it'd be a person born and brought up by Chinese family or Amerifat who learned that by themselves, I've just got interested. What really bothers me is whether there is any difference between reading, let's say, in Russian, English or any other relatively phonetic language or Chinese. Is that even possible to master it in terms of good literacy in order to read with absolutely no problem and even get some pleasure out of it? In addition, is there any worthwhile literature written by contemporary writers? For I myself am a Ukrainian who'd of course like to master English first in more or less 4 years and after that move on to learning Chinese. I'll be like 29 years old then, so won't it be too late to achieve such a level? As for English, I've been studying it for 2 years now and am highly dying for Chinese.
It's very different. Hard to explain if you're not familiar with the language, and doubly hard since I learned Chinese first so it's the "default" for me. But generally I think the characters are completely divorced from pronunciation, which means you can glean meaning without having to sound it out. I think that speeds up reading considerably, but the flip side is that characters are typically more expressive in meaning, so you have to pay some more attention to nuances.
I read Chinese works in Chinese (duh) and some Japanese and Korean works in Chinese. For European languages I typically prefer English translations (western names are a nightmare in Chinese, very clunky and awkward, often invoking strange characters).
I didn't "go through it" since I learned Chinese as my first language and then lived in the US for most of my life, so both of them were just natural/mother tongues. Can't help you there.
But if you're interested in language specifically from a literature (Western Canon) perspective, I don't think Chinese is particularly useful. Chinese literature is quite divorced from the Western literary tradition, and modern, vernacular Chinese is still somewhat removed from classical Chinese, which you'd need a passing knowledge/familiarity of if you want to read the classical Chinese canon. I'd compare it to the difference between modern English and something in-between Early Modern (think Shakespeare) and Middle (Chaucer) English. Native Chinese speakers can read classical Chinese well enough and can glean meanings, but someone learning Chinese would probably find it very difficult.
Modern Chinese literature is very young and doesn't have the same level of global impact. Unless you know why/what you want to read in Chinese, I wouldn't really recommend it for literature.
Japanese, which translates decently well into Chinese, translates well into English as well in many cases, and what difference there may be doesn't really justify learning Chinese (you might as well learn Japanese directly if you're interested).
Chinese is much more practical for non-literature related purposes though so if that's something that you think could be useful...
I think so yes. But that's if you're fluent. I'd imagine it'd be difficult for non-native speakers/readers.
? Who hates Chinese here?
Anyways it's a /lit/ board so maybe people just aren't particularly interested in Chinese since as I said
>Chinese literature is quite divorced from the Western literary tradition, and modern, vernacular Chinese is still somewhat removed from classical Chinese, which you'd need a passing knowledge/familiarity of if you want to read the classical Chinese canon.
Can one master mandarin in 10 years? Not that I'm keen to write it, but instead that'd be cool if I could read through books easily(let that be translations or minor original ones) and have some good chat with chinese folks when come to china
Too ambiguous of a question to answer. By master do you just mean fluency or true mastery of the language? In the 10 years how long are you going to devote to learning? An hour a day is much different from an hour a month for example. Also going to depend on your aptitude. No one can really answer this for you.
Can you read Classical Chinese?
Do you think a Westerner could?
Is there absolutely any trick or loophole to learning to language if your SOLE interest is to read classical literature? For example in Arabic you can go straight to MSA (ignore spoken dialects) and not worry too much about pronunciation; similar in Ancient Greek.
I am interested in reading Classical Chinese works "authentically" (whatever that means), but I also don't want to spend 40 years half-learning to do so while I could have learned five other languages fluently in the meantime.
if you know how to write the characters passive recognition is easy.
If you don't you will get fucked over pretty hard because there are alot of similar-looking characters in chinese.
most if not all of the classical literature is written in traditional characters. Modern mandarin uses simplified, so that means you will have to learn more characters to read the classical works/. Taiwan and hong kong still use traditional characters as far as i know